Greg Miller Talks Jerry, Deron, Karl, AK, Twitter
53-minute Greg Miller interview on KALL. Let’s get right to it.
This Past Season
It was, for me, the most emotionally polarizing year that I’ve ever been a part of…it started with that East [Coast] road trip. We had those four come-from-behind victories, the Miracle in Miami…and then of course we went on that slide towards the end of the season, and all of the turmoil surrounding Jerry’s departure and then the DWill trade certainly cast a big, dark shadow on my experience with the team. It was a really hard time for me to just deal with all the turbulence…
In the end I think we are better as a franchise and I really am comfortable that the values and the traits that have made the Jazz competitive and great and stable for as long as they have been, they’re still alive and well.
Jerry Sloan’s Departure
I’m going to preface this next comment by saying that I have enormous respect for Jerry Sloan…So I don’t mean this to be disrespectful to him in any way, but I really had a hard time with the timing and the circumstances with his departure. It really surprised me that he left mid-season…
When he decided that he wasn’t going to stay, it was really hard and I did tell him, “Jerry, do you realize if you leave right now that it’s going to cause a lot of drama, that those of us who are still with the team have to deal with and manage?” That did get him to slow down for just a minute, and he really thought about that, but obviously in the end he made his decision to move on.
What Happened During the Chicago Game
I don’t travel on the road with the team and I don’t spend a lot of time, other than at the half and after the game, with the team…so I didn’t see a lot of the early things that added up to what ultimately culminated in [Jerry's] departure, but we had a little incident at halftime [of the Bulls game] with Deron and Jerry. Jerry was just doing his coaching thing, and he said to Deron, “Hey, if you’re going to change the play mid-possession, it’d be nice if you let the rest of us know so we can all get on the same page.” Deron started out by saying, “Yeah, my bad, I understand. I’ll get it right.” Then there was silence for a minute, and it escalated from there.
Then as we were walking into Jerry’s office, it escalated even more, and that was actually where Jerry said he was done. And I said, “What are you talking about? We got a ballgame to finish. We’ll talk about this later if it needs to be talked about.” So we got through that all right, and we came in after the game, and that was where I tried to give Jerry an audience.
Have You Talked to Him Since?
I personally have not. I know that he and my mom have interacted, and I’ve heard from Phil, but I haven’t had a chance to talk to Jerry.
It all began when New Jersey’s deal with Carmelo fell through…they called Kevin and asked him if he’d be interested and he said, “
No comment I think we would but let me circle the wagons.” …
I believe Deron was going to look for every other option to move to a bigger market when his contract expired here primarily evidenced by two things. One is that he didn’t sign a max contract. He turned his back on $19 million. Number two, there was never anything he said or did that said, “Man, I love it here. I love this organization. I love Salt Lake City.” He always kind of had that game face on, and I didn’t get that sense of comfort that he wanted to be here long term.
Have You Considered Contacting Karl…
…who has said he’s willing to work with the Jazz for free?
We had a good visit the first game after Jerry’s retirement. We were actually in the tunnel talking, and he made it very clear that he wanted to lend his expertise to the franchise. I have nothing but respect for Karl. His work ethic is second-to-none maybe other than Stock. Those guys were two of a kind. Karl’s a warrior. Karl understands hard work. I think that that old school mentality would serve some of our players well today. Um [long pause] Dead air.* [pause] So we’ll see.
*There was dead air at this point, but I’m indicating that with “[long pause].” Greg said, “Dead air.” The whole time he was talking about Karl, I was waiting for the “but.” Essentially, not answering this question was the “but.” Sigh.
I have not had any discussions with [Andrei], nor has Kevin to my knowledge. I have heard that Andrei would like to stay, just in a very general sense**, and based on my interaction with him I can believe that. It’s not that we’re eager to run him out, but it’s a decision to make the organization as competitive as we can within the resources that we have. I would say the same applies to Andrei. If he’s the best option we have for the money we have to spend on him, then I can see him coming back. I wouldn’t rule it in or out at this point.
**Regardless of whether Greg means that what he has heard from Andrei about wanting to stay in Utah was in a very general sense, or what he has heard is that Andrei only wants to stay in Utah in a general sense, I present this:
I don’t think money gonna be an issue in this case…My kids going to school here. I have a house. We live here 10 years. It’s definitely going to be huge advantage for the Jazz…I want to tell you that the Jazz really have a priority for me. (AK on 4/17)
Watching the Playoffs
I watch SportsCenter every night and I watch the news so I see the highlights…if my team’s not in it, I’m really not interested.
It’s usually the ones that don’t even use their real name [that] are the most vulgar. There’s [also] a lot of positive that comes, actually the positive outweighs the negative thankfully…Almost every time that I’ve reached out to somebody like that, they back down and apologize and said, “That’s not who I am.”
As I said when fans were leaving offensive messages on Deron’s Facebook after Jerry retired: There is just no excuse for this kind of behavior. If you have issues with Deron, Greg, or whoever and you can’t express them in a non-vulgar manner, tweet or blog or post about them. Don’t tweet or blog or post at them.
stalkers passionate fans among us interested in that sort of thing ;)
Drop kids off at school in the morning.
Monday morning: 3 hours with Randy Rigby (sports and entertainment).
Tuesday morning: 3 hours with Randy’s automotive counterpart.
Wednesday morning: 3 hours alternating between finance team and strategy team.
Thursday morning: family meeting.
Friday morning: 3 hours alternating between construction and IT/legal.